Our Team





Joseph Markowitz, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Markowitz is a physician scientist, U.S. Board certified internist, medical oncologist, and clinical informaticist. His laboratory focuses on the nitric oxide (NO) mechanisms of inhibition to checkpoint blockade therapy in melanoma patients. In addition, the lab is developing tools to predict which patients are likely to fail immune-based therapy via novel high dimensional flow cytometric, mass spectrometry and informatics techniques, allowing those patients to be treated with other potentially more effective therapies.

Dr. Markowitz’s earned his B.A. in Biochemistry, his M.S. in Chemistry, and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry.  He completed an Internal Medicine Residency, a Medical Oncology Fellowship, and a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Immunology. Dr. Markowitz is striving to translate the knowledge gained in the laboratory to the clinic via his unique combination of clinical and research skills. At Moffitt, his group has also translated preclinical work into a first-in-human clinical trial. In addition, Dr. Markowitz is the Principal Investigator on multiple translational and clinical protocols to investigate the mechanisms of resistance to checkpoint blockade in melanoma patients.

LinkedIn: Joseph Markowitz

Associate Member

Department of Cutaneous Oncology

H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute

Faculty Profile

Assistant Professor

Department of Oncologic Sciences

Morsani College of Medicine

University of South Florida


Lab Members



Vishanna Balkaran, M.S.

Research Associate

Vishanna joined the lab in 2023 as a Research Associate. She earned her M.S. in Biotechnology from the University of South Florida. She previously earned her B.S. in Microbiology and Biotechnology from the University of the West Indies. Vishanna is currently studying murine nitric oxide models for melanoma therapies.

LinkedIn: Vishanna Balkaran 


Alejandra Chamizo, B.S.

Research Associate II

Alejandra joined the lab in 2023 as a Research Associate. She earned her B.S. in Biomedical Science from the University of South Florida. Alejandra is currently studying nitric oxide within immune cell phenotypes that contribute to immune therapy resistance.

LinkedIn: Alejandra Chamizo


Lab Volunteers



John Jimenez, B.S.

Clinical Research Intern

John joined the lab in 2022 after earning his B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Central Florida. He is currently pursuing his M.D. at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine. John is working to understand the nitric oxide related metabolites in melanoma.


Haiqa Mian, B.A.

Immunology Research Intern

Haiqa joined the lab in 2022 after completing her B.A. in Biology from Boston University. Haiqa is currently working on banking patient biological samples to use for future experiments relating to nitric oxide and immune therapy resistance, in addition to studying the translational aspects of melanoma immunotherapy.

LinkedIn: Haiqa Mian


Aaron Pham

Informatics Research Intern

Aaron joined the lab in 2022 while pursuing his B.S. in Computer Science with concentrations in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence at the University of South Florida. Aaron is currently working on an informatics project focused on nitric oxide and melanoma.

LinkedIn: Aaron Pham





Cydney Atkins

Faculty Administrative Assistant


Stephanie Desgagne

Faculty Administrative Assistant


Joyce Lampasona

Grants Administrator


Doris Chiclana

Research Financial Analyst